Pilot killed in glider crash named

Police have released the name of the man who died when his glider crashed yesterday evening.

He was 60-year-old Michael John McKellow (known as Joe), of Hororata, Selwyn District.

The crash occurred in the Snowy Tops area on Ribbonwood Station, about 10.5km northwest of Omarama.

Mr McKellow, an experienced pilot who had flown internationally, was piloting the fixed-wing glider when it appeared to lose altitude rapidly before crashing on a gentle slope on the western side of the peak.

He was the sole occupant and was participating in a private flight with friend in another glider nearby. The friend witnessed the crash and notified emergency services.

Police from Twizel, Kurow and Omarama and members of Omarama and Wanaka search and rescue along with a cliff-face rescue team and trauma doctor were called out to assist.

About six people, including the doctor, were flown in and arrived at the crash site about 7.30pm, but found the pilot was dead.

Mr McKellow's body was flown back to Omarama last night and taken to Oamaru.

The crash has been referred to the Civil Aviation Authority, which will investigate today